when i'm an adult i hope to be a kinder one.
sobre trauma geracional e a dificuldade não só/necessariamente de se conectar, mas de procurar empatia, procurar quem entenda e quem ajude. talvez a única maneira de romper com o rito seja dar um fim completo ao último na linhagem da maldição, mas a bondade prevalece sob a angústia e praticá-la, mesmo ao ver o pior reflexo de nós mesmos em outrem, é a chave para tornarmos pessoas melhores.
outro banger do parun. rip.
you never kill a single human being in this game, instead you help them get out of the fire and rubble of decaying buildings, search laboratories and spacial stations. your only weapon is used to extinguish the fire and, at your most violent act, exterminate robots. being a burning ranger is, at first, helping people, not harming them in any way! amazing level geometry, sonic team was at its peak level design-wise, with a lot of space to roam around and turn your camera to locate where you go next, while your team leader chris guides you if you are lost, with a single button pressing. the animated cutscenes and overall aesthetics, together with a cute english dub gives it a very "saturday morning" cartoon vibe or a late 90s OVA anime. also the songs here slaps, specially the main theme! great game!
the lockdown during the covid’s pandemic made everyone appreciate a little more things that were common and even rejected by some people: going outside, having human contact, not using masks and looking at nature, especially, looking at the sky. can you imagine being deprived of looking at the sky forever? the people in breath of fire: dragon quarter (D¼) don’t even know what “sky” is, instead, they have blue-painted ceilings to simulate it. the concept of “sky” is a legend, living underground for thousands of years, the “sky” for them is almost like “heaven” is for us: it’s paradise. the thing is that pretty much everyone in this world is agnostic.
and is not a wonderful world! full of creatures that were initially created in order for people to have food but some of them went mad and became more like monsters. the air is not good too! is very polluted and if your d-ratio is low, you will live in the worst places possible. oh, yeah, “d-ratio” is a very important concept: D¼’s world has this species of caste system called “d-ratio”, where people have a fraction associated with them, which denominator is always a multiple of 4 (actually, is always 4 raised to an exponent) and the lower your “d-ratio” is, the lower your status in this world is.
you, the protagonist: let’s call “ryu” for the sake of simplicity. ryu’s “d-ratio” is 1/8192, a low rank, specially considering that he is a pig/cop/pest-exterminator-guy in this world – called “ranger”. he can never make the top with a “d-ratio” like that. his partner, bosch, however, has a 1/64 “d-ratio”. he not only can make it to the top but he can even become a reagent as well (basically the people that control this world, the higher class someone can have, they literally live at the top of the world). anyway, ryu and bosch are given the mission of escorting a top-secret-object to a top-secret-lab. shit happens, the top-secret-object is actually a girl with wings called “nina”, ryu feels the urge to protect her, allies with lin from the trinity (a group of rebels) and discovers that the rangers sucks.
if people are agnostic about the existence of the “sky”, nina is a true believer. she does not only have faith in the “sky”’s existence, but far beyond the ceiling painted blue or the stories of the ancients, she wants to see the sky in its best form and ryu feels the need to help her.
in the middle of all of this, ryu even connects with a dragon, earning the power of transforming into a dragon that, in-game, can trivialize everything. you can pretty much win all battles with a single button or a buff + 2 attacks combo. it’s amazing, it can turn all the difficult moments into nothing. there’s no struggle in reaching the sky after all! right? right??
oh, your d-meter is 100%, i guess this is a game over, you have to restart. the whole game.
and this is where the real D¼ begins. as soon as you gain access to all those new dragon features, a meter appears in the top right corner of your screen, probably at 4.00% after you obligatorily use it in a boss fight and is always increasing as you progress through the game. you can always “d-dive”, turn into a dragon and make your life easier but this will just increase the meter. 12.00%, 26.37%, 56.78%, 78.98%, oh no, it’s 100% again and you are not even in the middle of the game. i guess you gotta restart it again.
the thing about restarting your life after failure is that: it’s not easy. you lose a lot of progress, feel frustrated and may even consider if it’s worth it to continue chasing your dreams after so many times failing. however, you have more and more experience as you try and you may reach it sometime. it’s not so different in D¼: every time you restart the game, you maintain part of the money and party xp (experience that you gain in order to distribute it between the party), your skills, the items that were equipped and can even see some new scenes each restart (the so called “SOL system”). not so different from mr.best-action-game-of-2020, huh? D¼ is a roguelite. of course you can just “continue” (restore) the game instead of restarting from the beginning, you always have this option and the decision is yours. except for when your “d-meter” is 100%.
not only D¼ is a roguelite jrpg but it’s also a survival horror: this game atmosphere is very oppressive and claustrophobic. always walking through corridors, avoiding combat since every single enemy can kill you very easily if you don’t have a good strategy for every single battle and even your backpack is limited by the amount of items you can carry: you can’t have 99 “potions”, only 10. you can’t even save it everytime, you need a “save token” that is like resident evil’s ink: it’s very rare, sometimes not even worth obtaining since there’s a big-bad-can-kill-you-in-one-hit enemy in the front of it. the combat also is more like a crpg, having “AP points” to move your character in-map and also being the points you need to attack the enemy. gladly, utilizing items does not take off your “AP points” so you can pretty much survive the next hit even if you already did your movement. the combat depends a lot on positioning and you can even hide behind boxes, go around and hit the enemies on the back (which every single attack hits). D¼ is also a fighting game in a sense, since you have to do combos in order to do real damage in this game: press “circle” while holding “R2” then hit “square”, “square”, “x”, “circle” again and wow! a combo! a critical hit! or it may not even land! you can buy weapons as well but the best ones are obtained randomly after killing strong enemies or opening boxes (that need a key (that you obtain after killing strong enemies)), the same goes for skill. the “steal” skill is probably the best steal skill in any videogame since it’s a passive skill that activates every time you take damage so you can pretty much get fucked up but with a “????????+5” weapon (you gotta discover what it is in a shop (a girl with glasses (that is also the same girl that stores your items that you can take after every restart)).
this c-j-survival-horror-fighting-rpg is a very complex and most of the time miserable piece of gaming. the gritty, melancholic, tarkovsky-meets-anime style of its narrative does not help too. you are never secure in this world, even if you are, it’s more like being comfortable while a catastrophe is happening (not so different from the lockdowns, huh?). still, it is such an interesting and addicting experience, restarting it again and again, seeing new scenes, having new items, doing things faster and faster. one of my restarts i did ⅔ of the game in 3 hours, which, before, took me a lot more. D¼ is a game about perseverance. it teaches you that it’s not your “d-ratio” that will change the world: i mean, which time in history the higher classes actually did something significant for the people? when they did, they were pressured by the lower classes. D¼ tells us to not accommodate our situation but to break the blue ceiling and go all up to reach the sky, like a true dragon. it doesn’t matter how many times you gotta die each day, you can try again and again until you fulfill your dreams.
"man will gain wings and the sky will return to the world"
D¼ was very controversial for breaking with so many structures that breath of fire as a franchise constructed, for being so weird and hard and “unfair” and whatever people were saying back in the day. still is perceived as the black sheep of the series, the game that killed the franchise and this was repeated so much that a lot of people didn’t even try to play it! however, if you open your mind and especially your heart, you will encounter a very frustrating videogame, yeah, but very rewarding, both gameplay-loop-wise and spiritually. in this site, there’s more “backlogs” and “wishlists” for this game than actually plays! and is such a fancy designed experimental piece of gaming that did stuff almost 20 years before mr.best-action-game-of-2020 did and in a better way, in my opinion. so please, you reading this, know that i’m not the roger ebert of game’s writing but i really ask you with all my heart to consider giving it a chance. it’s not so hard to emulate it (even if it does have some graphic bugs) and it’s not so expensive if you live in the states and can buy it for your ps2. don’t mind dying a couple times before discovering what you have to do, just experience the beautiful story of a young dragon seeking for freedom.
did you know that "alucard" backwards is "this game kind of rocks?? i used to believe that this kind of killed what rondo of blood constructed when i was younger but now i just really appreciate how bold they were in doing something totally different and changing -- together with super metroid -- the industry forever. i don't like how slow it feels sometimes, like flying with the bat or backtracking with alucard (i know that there's the wolf but when you have to jump all the times the wolf can be a little tricky!) and i'm not a big fan of useless weapons and not being able to sell them. still! amazing bosses, killing soundtrack and i love this kind of spooky atmosphere. the original dub gives it such an OVA vibe. the reverse castle genuinly impressed me. like. how someone did a level design so perfect that it worked on both ways? truly masterclass."
crazy name, huh?
first hi-fi rush and now this dropping out of nowhere and being actually great!! i love those characters so much and the fact that you are interacting with sonic friends rather than sonic himself just makes it better! really gives the characters a chance to shine outside of the comics and for the first time since... heroes? anyway, really sweet april fools game!
the most "WHAT THE FUCK" game of all times. not for being "weird" or convoluted or anything like that, but because you will be constantly saying "WHAT THE FUCK" throught the entire experience. if you know, you know.
absolute banger, one of the greatest of all times, shinji mikami is a goat.
the world dies. but it doesn’t stop existing. its post-mortem is a decaying place, where demons full of different desires and wandering souls full of regrets roam around. the world is the way it is because a conception occurred. it’s on stand-by, waiting for someone with strong will to create a new world based on their reasons. “reason” is an individual’s inner philosophy. it’s not the first time that an individual with a “reason” creates a new world. it will not be the last. someone will always want to change the status quo. so the cycle continues, a new world dies and a new world is reborn, as god intended.
shin megami tensei: nocturne is a videogame about cycles.
it follows this idea to its core: kagutsuchi, the center of this universe, probably “god”, follows the cycle of the moon. it starts as a new phase, until it becomes “full” and goes down until it becomes new again, thus continuing the cycle. this translates to in-game events that vary according to kagutsuchi phases, as enemies becoming stronger or specific items being acquired once the it is in its “full” phase.
the concept of “reason” to continue the samsara is also something very important in-game. it is the mechanic of “alignments” from shin megami tensei but contextualized to nocturne’s setting, where your choices affect the course of the game’s narrative and leads you to a specific ending. each character represents a “reason” and is very interesting to see how each reason has its own implications on society (and i assume that early 2000s japanese society is the biggest parameter) and character’s motivations, as well some political ones (hikawa wants a world of peace where humanity will cease to desire. thus, there will be no evil. still he drops the equivalent of a nuclear bomb in a place to achieve his goals). as the game goes, the characters progressively get deeper into their ideals until abandoning their humanities (philo-phsyi-cally) and becoming ideas themselves.
you don’t have to go further, you can go back.
in the middle of all of this, there is a single character that is the most interesting one for me: yuko takao. she’s your school teacher that you visit in the hospital at the beginning of the game and, together with hikawa, she triggers the conception in order to create a new world. however, she regrets what she did: she does not believe in the reason of shijima. she believes in something else. what? well, she doesn’t know. still, she lives searching for her truth. what enchants me about her is how she doesn't sink into ideology, becoming only a vessel for a “reason”, but keeps struggling, searching for her own truth with hope in her heart that she will create a better world. she’s the most human character in this game.
and, while you have to be a human to create a new world, you must summon a god and become one with them in order to conceive a new world. believing in someone that keeps struggling the way she is to achieve her goals is the true way to break the status quo? or perhaps you are just regressing to the old world? is the old world really that bad?
you don’t have to follow the cycle. you can break it.
there’s also the enigmatic figure of a blonde boy/oldman with an old/young lady in black, who gives you “magatama” in order for you to become the demi-fiend and has its own views on the situation. following their path will lead you to the labyrinth of amala, where you commit the worst sin: search for knowledge. suffering through the most head-wrenching dungeons will lead you to the truth, even if you have to follow a dark path. the blonde wants to break the cycle, but instead of having hope, he is full of hate for being submitted to the eternal cycle of life and death of the universe. maybe it is the time for the oppressed to go against the oppressor, breaking the status quo, defying the great will and starting a new world where they are the ones that rule.
shin megami tensei: nocturne is a videogame about cycles.
it does not blame you for following the cycle and choosing a reason and does not blame you for the reason you choose. however, it presents you with the choice of breaking the cycle and following a different path. it does not matter which path you follow anyway.
someone will always want to kill the world you created.
loved how much etherane loves kurt vonnegut. not only the writing is reminiscent, but some concepts of deity and existentialism that vonnegut works with can be seen here! of course is the first in a trilogy and it feels very introductory so i can't go deeper into themes. i believe that it is probably a type of work that it gets better as its world is contextualized in later installments. anyway! i really loved the writing and the characters seem very interesting, felix is a beloved already and charlotte is very cute! also the soundtrack really sets up the traggic/melancholic mood throught the game. the contextualization of the playable character as a "puppet" and the player as "the puppeter" is genuinely genius and makes you think that videogames are perhaps more close to theater than cinema, idk. anyway. just thoughts!
the fact that any game is out is a miracle by itself; is not that any work of art isn't passible of criticism, is just that "laziness" in a project are people working under a deadline, trying their best to the game works at least a few% from what they planned; the solution for "laziness" in games is actually solucioning the dignity of it's workers; game designers need an union as soon as possible.
this one is a pretty interesting story about a “hero” – i.e, a military that joined the army believing that he would be a hero but is actually just helping a multi billionaire company/imperialist state in their dirty path – slowing realizing how shitty his job is and how much he is more of a “tool” and a “product” rather than, actually, a hero. the game has this theme of “honor” and what that really means and i like how it never really prestiges shinra for anything, even with the romanticism in SOLDIER and all, is more of an individual discourse. the genesis plotline (and kind of the main plotline lol) is interesting too¹ and questions a lot about the usefulness of SOLDIER, their purpouse as individual and if they aren’t just monsters used as weapons for a company to do their jobs. even zack not being as modified as angeal, genesis or even sephiroth, he’s still just a shinra’s dog, you know? pretty funny how genesis is just an edgy gay that reads too much poetry! love the 2000s aesthetics on it, the flip-phones, the FMVs, how beautiful the boys are! like. seriously. final fantasy vii may be the final fantasy with the most beautiful boys in any of them. anyway. i dislike how the missions work! to be more exactly, i hate the level design on it, is just flat and boring and what really makes you want to do the missions is getting new items to fusion or to just have a better build and because of how good the combat is. not excellent, though! fire trivializes a lot of fights and some encounters that could be excellent are just you spamming fire and running and sometimes hitting the enemy while he’s just there still attacking you and not really reacting to any of your attacks. but you know, psp game etc etc. the ending of this game pays for pretty much all of its sins, i cried like a bitch. also reno’s in it and he’s handsome. and zack is a cute too. good game!
¹just an edit to say that is not flawless tho! genesis is a big "?" since, while it does brings some cool questions and is a narrative trigger for sephiroth's downfall, it's existence throught the game as well as the whole g project, s-cells etc. plot feels like a big nothing in the main picture (The Final Fantasy VII Compilation, I Mean). still, genesis as a character is pretty fun to watch!
a game so relatable superficially but it may not be as you get deeper into it, since the game explores a lot more of topics instead of just being a "lover's betrayal". such an amazing and beautiful piece of queer media. heart is wonderful and very complex protagonist and the final moments of it hurts a lot, almost made me cry. one of the greatest of all time. for real.
hmm.... lot of feelings about it, really! it's the first pokémon game in years that was interesting enough for me to play it begin to end. honestly i had fun most of the time, though a lot of this was just mindless fun tbh: star team had the best storyline but also the worst "gyms" -- just a very bad raid where you just run pressing R and... that's it. the gyms were cool in majority, wish the challenges were better worked and it was cool to expand koraidon's abilities as well! but i must admit that the open world kind of falls apart once you get all the powers and you can just break throught everything. the open world, by the way, was fun! but i really miss entering in houses and stuff, specially when the interior design of this game looks so cute! is hard for me to rate it, since i've had a lot of fun but when i really try to think about it, i see it mistakes and makes me less happier than i was... pretty much like highschool, i guess!